Babies who consume high amounts of gluten products before the age of two are at higher risk of developing coeliac disease, according to researchers.

The findings come from series of studies with children known as the TEDDY project (The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young).

Results showed that children eating more than 5g per day of gluten were more than twice as likely to develop coeliac disease than those who ate less.

Commenting on the research, Norma McGough, director of policy, research & campaigns at Coeliac UK told British Baker: “Currently, there is not enough evidence available to be able to provide specific guidance about the amount and exact timing of introduction of gluten at weaning in relation to triggering coeliac disease. This position was confirmed in a recently published paper on gluten introduction and the risk of coeliac disease by the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN).

“ESPGHAN suggests that consumption of large amounts of gluten should be avoided during the first months of gluten introduction. Further research is needed and we look forward to seeing the peer reviewed published results of this latest observational study.”

In August, Coeliac UK launched a new mobile app named Gluten-free food checker, designed to help those on a gluten-free diet find food while shopping.